Guest blog by Barbara M. Morris
On occasion, I am asked, "Why bother trying to Put Old on Hold? Everybody gets old eventually. Just go with the flow."
Go with the flow into the abyss of decrepit old age? Moi? Not now at 73, not ever!
There is a difference between the aging process - the passage of time over which you have no control (at this time) and the traditional signs and symptoms of "getting old" over which you have an enormous amount of control.
Gerontologist Dr. John W. Rowe says how well you age is 70 percent lifestyle choices and 30 percent heredity and environment." That 70 percent (which I personally believe is closer to 80 or even 90 percent) is a lot to work with over a lifetime.
This is how it's done: Start early, have a vision of how you want to be when you are "old," stay focused on and committed to your goal and you are on your way. I guarantee that your success will exceed your expectations.
But how do you make a commitment to Putting Old on Hold when you are only 30 or 40, and filled with the arrogance of youth, convinced the image in the mirror you see each day will be the same forever? Begin by observing "old people" - how they live, how and what they think, -- their physical and mental condition. Then ask yourself, "Do I want to be like that when I'm 60, 70 and beyond? What can I do to avoid or prevent it?
It helps to internalize the reality that old age is not a TV mini series over in five nights - it can go on for a very long time, and when there are daily reruns of pain, depression, and debilitation, it is not prime time. Also internalize the reality that it doesn't have to be that way --it can be better than prime time; it can be the best years of your life.
Remember a time in history when the most brilliant thinkers in the universe declared the earth was flat and everyone believed it until a rebel came along and proved this undeniable "truth" was false?
Many widely held beliefs about "getting old" have about as much validity as the "earth is flat" theory.
Assuming it is possible to Put Old on Hold -- specifically, what does it take? In Boomers Really Can Put Old on Hold I discuss the significance and importance of a non-traditional youthifying diet; the need to learn about cutting edge nutrition, proper use of resources that support and enable you to Put Old on Hold; the value of exercise, and the ingredients and benefits of a carefully cultivated mental attitude that empower you to take charge of the aging process.
If lines are invading your face and your hair is getting gray, please understand that Putting Old on Hold is not all about "looking young," although that is part of the payoff. The real prize is getting to age 60, 70 and beyond and functioning like a healthy 40 or 50-year old. It does not necessarily mean you will live longer - it does mean that if you maintain that level of vibrant wellness for your remaining years, you will have an unprecedented Second Life. You can go back to school, start a new career or a new business. When you have physical and mental health, you can have it all.
You have the power to Put Old on Hold, a power long suppressed by tradition and outmoded conventional wisdom, the influence of destructive consensus thinking and behaviors perhaps held by your immediate social circle, and belief in the "certainty" that you must succumb to physical and mental deterioration as the years pass. Right now, declare your freedom from "the earth is flat" impossibility thinking and do what it takes to remain healthy, productive, and ageless for as long as you choose.